Women self help groups in rural areas are the real agents of development, Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said today while conferring national awards to the best performing SHGs from across the country.
Tomar awarded 34 women SHGs under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) at an event here.
The awards are a public recognition of the outstanding performance of these community institutions and incorporate a sense of pride among the poor community members, officials said.
Appreciating the work done by the SHGs in development in rural areas, Tomar said, "They are real agents of development. Our sisters who are running these groups are not only managing their homes but also playing an important role in the economic growth of their respective villages."
Women SHGs in rural areas had set an example for the country in repaying loans, he said, noting that only 2 per cent of the total advances given to them were not paid back.
Addressing the gathering, Rural Development Secretary Amarjeet Sinha added that SHGs are a perfect example of how the livelihoods of households can be transformed through a collective approach, managed in line with core democratic and financial principles.
The SHGs have contributed to several community level activities for the common good, he added.
DAY-NRLM is a flagship programme of the Ministry of Rural Development to alleviate rural poverty.
The programme aims at mobilising all rural poor women into self managed community institutions such as self-help groups, village organisations, cluster level federations and producer groups/companies in a phased manner.
The mission is aimed at promoting financial inclusion of community institutions and providing support for strengthening and diversifying livelihood resources of women member households.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)